Are Smartwatches Allowed In School / Exams?

Smartwatches have quickly turned into independent devices that do not explicitly need your smartphone to function. You can now send messages, receive calls, view images, and even record audio directly from your wrist. With that said, are smartwatches still allowed in examination centers and schools?

No, smartwatches, just like smartphones – are not allowed in exams. Be it a pop quiz, a final, the SAT, or the GRE, all exam takers are strictly advised to place their watches beside them when taking an exam and to not wear them.

This begs the question though, are smartwatches not allowed in every exam? Or, is this ruleset for particular examinations. Moreover, what is the reason for them being banned in the first place?

Why Are Smartwatches Not Allowed In Exams?

Smartwatches can be used to effortlessly cheat during examinations. We strictly condone the use of smartwatches, or any other method, for cheating on a test. However, to cement our point, these devices can be used to cheat in exams in the following ways:

  • Message friends / individuals for answers
  • Send and receive images related to the exam
  • Record and send audio about the exam
  • Perform simple / advanced arithmetic directly on the smartwatch

In essence, a smartwatch can do most of what a smartphone can do in an exam hall situation. They also have strong enough processors and most possess cellular connections which allow them to be used in further nefarious manners.

Here’s a quick look at most of the reputable school board / exam institutions that have presented some rulings on smartwatches:

School Board / Examination BodyVerdict
SATNot Allowed
O / A Levels (Cambridge)Not Allowed
GRENot Allowed
IELTSNot Allowed
JEENot Allowed
TOEFLNot Allowed

As you can see, almost every reputable school board / examination board has not allowed for smartwatches to be allowed during exams. Therefore, it’ll be quite a smart idea to just keep your smartwatch at your home on examination day, place it beside your desk, or store it in a safe locker.

Can You Wear A Smartwatch To School?

Yes, smartwatches can be worn to school and have the same rules imposed on them as a smartphone. However, some schools have banned kid-friendly smartwatches for minors as they can be presumed as a violation of privacy for peers around the child.

Moreover, the risk of hackers or malicious users taking over the watch and using it for nefarious purposes has led to some school bodies placing bans on the usage of these devices. You will have to refer to your local school body for further instructions on whether smartwatches are actually allowed in schools or not.

Do note though, whether a smartwatch is allowed in general school use or not, they will not be allowed during examination whatsoever.

Are Smartwatches Allowed In Open Book Exams?

No, smartwatches are not allowed in open book exams. This is because students can use these smartwatches to communicate with each other and share answers which certainly isn’t allowed in any exam. 

While yes, some particular courses, exams, or assessments may allow for smartphones. In those cases, smartwatches will also be allowed. But, in most instances, communication amongst peers is strictly prohibited even in an open book exam. To enforce that rule, smartwatches, then, are also banned.

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I bought my first smartwatch in 2018 and have been wearing one ever since. It might get frustrating at times to receive 100 notifications a day. That's why we need to know how to make the best of them and how to use them to improve our daily lives, not the other way around. I write about the newest smartwatches, I create top picks, and I write helpful guides and simply explain complicated things.